Meet SAM and lilli


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This coming Saturday we have an event at SAM and lilli. SAM and lilli is a contemporary clothing store for men and women. Last year, the store was praised as one of Houston’s Top 100 Independent Shops, which you can read about here. If you shop in the store that day, 10% of their sales will be donated to Ten Thousand Villages. You can come any time that day when they’re open, which is 11:00am-7:00pm. However, if you stop by between noon and 4pm during the event, there will champagne and sweet treats that you won’t want to miss.


After browsing through the many photos on the SAM and lilli Facebook page, we couldn’t be more excited for this event. They have an endless amount of cute clothes and accessories. Here are some of our favorites:







Check out the photos on the SAM and lilli Facebook page and tell us which items are your favorite! And if you take any photos at the event, be sure to tag us in your photo on Instagram (you can follow us here) and you might see your photo on our Facebook or Instagram. We hope to see you there!


Hit Refresh


We have a lot of items in our store. People are able to shop around for a long time, due to the sheer number of products on the shelves. Since we have so many fair trade items, we sometimes bring in a set designer and have a store refresh. Many customers might not notice the difference, but our volunteers will be able to tell that something has changed. Even when people notice a change, it’s hard to know what is exactly different or what new products are now displayed. So we can appreciate the changes, let’s take a look at some before and after photos.

















What do you think of our store refresh? Some of our before and after photos are drastically different, like our table displaying purses that now has an orange and fall theme. I particularly like the new way we’re storing the scarves in baskets rather than hanging them. Other before and after photos don’t seem like they changed much, but if you look carefully, you’ll notice things like a cloth taken from the bottom shelf for a cleaner look. What are the changes we’ve made that you like the most?


Customer Spotlight: Analiese



A number of days ago, one of our customers named Analiese, stopped by the store. She surprised everyone with a donation for the store which she raised by doing a Fair Trade Fair for her Mitzvah Project. Many would agree with us that Analiese truly deserves this shoutout.


Her words on the project:

For my Mitzvah Project I held a ‘Fair Trade Fair’ in my front yard. I have always been interested in learning more about fair trade. I was motivated to learn more by a fair trade store called Ten Thousand Villages. I have been going there since I was a little girl. Every time I go there I learn something new while supporting fair trade by shopping and trying food or drinks that are fair trade.

IMG_2153Analiese’s words are encouraging since her experience with fair trade as a young girl turned into the passion she feels for fair trade today. The board she created clearly shows her love for fair trade coffee and chocolate, as well as the cause and our volunteers. She is a reminder to everyone that young people can bring positive change to the world. Way to go Analiese!


How old were you when you became aware of or starting buying fair trade? What do you think of Analiese’s project? Let us know!





Sarongs are So Right



I can’t remember how old I was when my sister and I got a package from our aunt containing 2 sarongs for each of us from Sri Lanka. I do remember that my sister’s was a bright, unapologetic pink color, while mine was a bright sunshine yellow with a white design on the bottom and splatters of dark red all over.

I still have my sarong, somewhere around a decade later. It sits in my bottom dresser drawer with my summer shorts, until I pull it out and wear it as I usually do in the summertime: a skirt to the beach over my swimsuit.

Sarong (1)

The best thing about sarongs, in my opinion, is that a person can wear them forever. This picture was taken of Sarah, our Assistant Manger, and her sisters 15 years ago, and like me, they are still able to wear their sarongs. The term “One Size Fits All” is proven true here, since sarongs are unlike other fashion pieces that only a certain age range can wear. I wore my sarong as a child, I now wear it as a young adult, and I expect I’ll be wearing it as I get older.

Sarongs are most commonly worn in South Asia, by men and women. In America, they are worn by women, usually as beachwear or a swimsuit cover up. Many people are unaware of how versatile a sarong can be, or what all they can be used for. They can be worn as a wrap, headscarf, or dress. They can be used as a tablecloth, throw, picnic blanket, or decor (curtains, room dividers, wall-hangings).

To see how many ways a sarong can be worn, you can watch this video of different women showing the ways in which they wear sarongs.

Scream for Fairtrade




When I was a sophomore in high school, I did a speech on the ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s. We were required to speak about a company, so I chose one that made food, thinking it would be mildly interesting and give me any easy A. I remember being surprised and shocked when I discovered how many causes Ben & Jerry’s supports. The fact I remember from my speech is the cutest: they give their ice cream waste to pig farms, where pigs can enjoy the ice cream and none of their product goes to waste.

But that’s not all, Ben & Jerry’s supports climate justice and they do all they can to reduce their carbon footprint. They have transitioned to source ingredients that are NOT genetically modified. They promote peace and social justice. They are also committed to sourcing fair trade certified ingredients for all of their products. They are currently in the middle of transitioning of all their products globally to use fair trade ingredients.

Ever since finding out what they stand for, I’ve been a fan of Ben & Jerry’s. They also have killer ice cream flavors. I’ve been in love with their cookie dough ice cream for a while. Also, have you seen those new Core flavors? If you haven’t, I seriously recommend that you check them out here.


This coming Thursday, July 10, Ben & Jerry’s will be supporting Ten Thousand Villages. If you come by Ben & Jerry’s located on 5515 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX 77005, they will donate 15% of your purchase to us if you mention Ten Thousand Villages! It’s amazing that we can partner up and support each other, but the people we are really supporting are the farmers, workers, and artists who deserve fairness.

Keeping up with The Times


timesphoto This past month, Ten Thousand Villages was mentioned in the New York Times! The article was in the travel section, under the title “Browsing Boutiques Without Taking the Trip”. It says that well-known stores like Anthropologie and Cost Plus World Market are not the only stores that sell products from around the globe.  It gives a nod to 5 stores that they think deserve more attention, 2 of which are fair trade.


Here is what they wrote for Ten Thousand Villages:

This company is many times larger than the others mentioned here, though in 1946 it began with one woman selling her wares from the trunk of her car. Today, the company is a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization and sells handmade jewelry, home décor, art and textiles from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Sales of its products — like necklaces from Nepal ($34) and decorative boxes from Haiti ($39) — help pay for basics like food and health care for artisans in dozens of countries. Information:

You can read the entire article here.


What do you think about the article? Do you think that this exposure about our global products is a good way to get others informed about fair trade? Let us know in the comments!

“I get by with a little help from my friends”



The Beatles put it perfectly when they sang “I get by with a little help from my friends”! What would we be without our closes friends? Ten Thousand Villages wants to give you and your friend the perfect excuse to go shopping! So this Saturday, August 3rd (Can’t believe its August already!), we are celebrating National Friendship Day! If you and a friend come into Ten Thousand Villages Houston you will receive 15% off a single item, discount available at event only!

bracletesWe will be featuring a wide variety of friend themed items at the event! Want something that you and your closes friend can share? How about buying friendships bracelets that truly solidify your love for one another! My best friend and I have one and it really feels like my best friend is always with me, even when shes not! It’s surprising how much a simple bracelet can help support you when you are feeling down! We will also be selling friendship theme Kissii Stone Statues! These statues are a perfect present for a close friend! We will also be featuring our chocolates and baking mixes because what friends don’t like to cook for one another?! These baking mixes are the perfect beanprojectexcuse for you and your best friend to have a dinner night together!I made the corn bread the other day and it is absolutely delicious! It also goes perfectly with the chili mixes! Yum! We will also have friendship pins made from coke cans! These too are a perfect gift for your closes friend! Finally, we will also be featuring our cards! We have cards for birthdays, for someone who is sick, thank you cards, and a wide variety of different cards! They are one of my favorite items because each of them are so cute!  As we do at all of our events, we will also be serving snacks that are made from items in our store!

We hope to see everyone at our National Friendship Day event this Saturday, August 3rd! Don’t forget to bring a friend as well because if you do you will receive 15% off a single item! Who doesn’t love shopping with your best friend?!forget to stop by and try some of these delicious treats!

National Hammock Day!


hammockdayfacebookOnly 2 and a half more days till our National Hammock Day event, on July 20th from noon to 4 pm! Kay, Alicia, and I have planed out everything that is going to take place, and are excited for this event! The event is all about a day of relaxation and indulgence! We want everyone, who comes in, to feel relaxed and let them enjoy themselves as they are shopping! We will have relaxing music playing and we will be serving some fabulous snacks!

The feature items for this event are our, obviously our handcrafted hammocks! 8104210w1Which if you purchase at the event you will receive 20% off, artisans are already paid in full! We will also be featuring our wonderful, handmade beauty products! These products smell so beautiful and work wonderful as well! I use the rose scented soap every time I shower! Its easily one of my favorite products we have in stock!

Ben and Jerry’s is going to be served at this event and we are having 3 delicious flavors; the flavor we will be serving are Vanilla, Coffee Carmel Buzz, and my facebookicecreampersonal favorite Chocolate Fudge Brownie!! I am getting hungry thinking about this event! A bonus part about these flavors is that they are all made with fair trade ingredients! How awesome is Ben and Jerry’s for making their ice cream with fair trade ingredients?! chocolateblog

Another delicious snack, that I am making, is chocolate cover strawberries, made with Divine fair trade chocolate!! Some strawberries will be dipped in White Chocolate with strawberries chocolate, the other two will be dipped in Hazelnut Milk Chocolate and Fruit and Nut Dark Chocolate! I did a test run with these flavors last weekend and you aren’t going to want to miss out on them, they are fabulous!

That’s not it, we will also be making Snickerdoodle  Cookies, made froblow dryer 002m our Women’s Bean Project cookie mix! Too help wash down all this delicious food we will be serving iced coffee made with our fair trade coffee! Its going to be delicious!

I hope that I will see all of our readers at this event! If you do come to the event please come and say hi to me, David, I would love to meet everyone of you! I am excited about this event and know that its going to be so much fun!

Meet the Artisans! Proexport, S.A.


Every so often we are going to post about the different artisan groups whose items Proexport_Nicaragua_SilviaArausMartinezwe have in our store! This post will give our readers the opportunity to get to know the different artisans groups! We will take suggestions on which artisan groups we should highlight, so please comment if you want to hear the story of a specific artisan group or a group for a specific country!

To kick off our “Meet the Artisans!” series we are going to talk about the Proexport, S.A. from León, Nicaragua. We choose this group this week because we will be celebrating National Hammock Day next Saturday, July 20th, 8104210w1and they make all the hammocks that we sell in our store! This group makes extremely unique, yet beautiful hammocks and tons of other amazing handcrafts!

Proexport helps market small Nicaraguan handcrafted producers market their products so that they can make money off what they make, following the fair trade principles of course! Founded in8104250w1 2002  by Francisco Pineda, after a similar microtrade company, and Francisco’s former employer, was disbanded. Proexport  works with more than 250 artisans in 60 workshops and  provides marketing assistance, production training and fair prices to small craft production workshops.

Hello, Hello, and Hi!!


Hey everyone! I wanted to introduce myself, I am David Nowlan and I am the summer intern for Ten Thousand Villages Houston! I am in charge of all their blogphotosocial media accounts, this blog, coordinating the in store events, as well as helping out with some of the advertising! I am going to be a Junior at St. Edwards University, in Austin, Texas and I am majoring in Pubic Relations and Advertising! I was born in Middlesbrough, England but I moved to Houston at the age of 2 and have been here ever since!

I am currently on the St. Edwards PRSSA (Public Relation Student Society of America) Board as the Public Relations Director! I’m in Charge of their social media, blogging, I also submit press releases and chapter news to the PRSSA Chapter News site, and a APAvariety of other tasks! Outside of that I am a volunteer at Austin Pets Alive! Where I go weekly to play with dogs and cats in the shelter! I am a huge animal lover, but don’t have time to own my own pet, so this lets me enjoy the loving of the different animals without having to own a dog or cat! I am also a big fan of the theater! I was in theater through out middle school and high school and continue to see shows put on across the Austin area!

I have been interning at Ten Thousand Villages for a month now and I have been loving it! I love working alongside Kay, Alicia, and our awesome volunteers! I just wanted to introduce myself to our readers and give them the opportunity to get to know the person writing these blog post!